Two Houston window washers were trapped on the 71st story of a skyscraper Monday morning. A malfunction caused their scaffolding to teeter off balance on the brink of falling to the ground. Authorities received a call about the incident at 10:37 a.m. and dispatched the Houston Fire Department, which sprang into action to save the men.
Both men are now safe and sound. Neither suffered injury or required medical care, in spite of harrowing pictures published on the Internet, which show the scaffolding on the side of the building looking like it was only hanging by a thread.
Workers Rescued Through a Window
Fire officials say that their rescue effort involved the removal of a 71st-floor window. After taking the window out of its frame, they assisted the men to climb inside to safety. Miraculously, it only took about 33 minutes for the men to be rescued after officials were notified.
Later, the window washing company's mechanic repaired the motor and successfully pulled the scaffolding back up to the 75th floor without serious incident.
In October 2015, another scaffolding collapse happened in Houston. Fire fighters rescued six construction workers from the accident, which took place at a downtown construction site. The workers involved in that accident suffered non-fatal injuries.
Scaffolding Accidents Cause Many Workplace Injuries
Temporary scaffolding and scaffolding lift systems are used in all kinds of building maintenance and construction projects. The temporary and moveable nature of these systems mean that they are apt to malfunction or collapse. Also, the heights at which they are used mean that fall accidents are a risk for the workers who use them. In fact, scaffolding accidents are the source of numerous injuries that lead to workers' compensation claims. Workers and employers are encouraged to employ extreme caution when using scaffolding systems.
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